GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – Nearly 300 people are believed dead after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine near the Russian border Thursday.
"This is a crime scene now," said Greg Feith, a former National Transportation Safety Board investigator.
Feith, a nationally renowned aviation expert, believes investigating this highly tense situation will be difficult.
"The crime scene is very volatile only because it's in a war zone and it's spread out about 9 miles," he said.
And the area is already compromised with people walking around the crash scene. NBC News reports Ukrainian rebels, the same group that maybe involved in shooting the plane down, are on the scene.
"We know from, at least early information, that somebody has already collected possibly the flight data recorder and/or cockpit voice recorder, the question is who?" said Feith.
"If we don't get their fast, you have no idea what we're looking at is accurate," added Jack Rice.
Rice, a former CIA officer who lives in the Twin Cities, told KARE 11 he is also concerned with the type of surface-to-air missile that may have been used and who may have used it.
"The idea that you may have a faction that is not the Russian military using something this high tech; it's something the U.S. didn't even know about. It's something the Russians have denied. It's something the Ukrainians have claimed," he said. "The real question is was it the Russians? Could it have been somebody else?"
A Russian-made missile is suspected in the explosion, which NBC News reports can reach 76-thousand feet and travels one mile per second.
"A lot of these carriers may have perceived this as a non-threatening environment given the fact they are at 30,000 feet," said Feith.
The Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. carriers to stay out of the area where the plane went down, but Feith said "that was not a global standard".
It is unclear who will actually investigate this crash. Feith suspect there could be a number of governments involved because it happened in Ukraine, but involves a Malaysian plane with multi-national passengers,
"Everybody is going to have a player in it, but it will be from a criminal investigation aspect," he said.